Kroger, Union Prepare for Strike

Cincinnati, The union representing nearly 11,000 workers in Kroger Co.'s home region revoked a contract extension on Monday, and both sides say they are getting ready for a strike.

Union negotiators reported late Monday that contract talks with Kroger Co. had broken off. The union cited a lack of significant progress on such issues as wages, health care and pensions.

Local 1099, which represents workers at Cincinnati-area Kroger supermarkets, said it has revoked a contract extension that was in effect until Nov. 3, and it will now expire at midnight Nov. 2. No more bargaining sessions are currently scheduled.

According to a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the grocer, in reaction to the fruitless negotiations, announced it would begin to pursue temporary workers.

“Because of the union actions we are preparing to recruit temporary workers,” said Kroger spokeswoman Meghan Glynn. “Plans are in place for a variety of scenarios. It’s unfortunate that it’s coming to this. We’ll do what we need to do to serve our customers.”

Recruiting temporary workers did not occur in California, Michigan or Texas during recent labor negotiations.

No future bargaining dates have been scheduled but a Kroger spokesperson said the company was willing to return to the bargaining table.